National Honors Society (NHS) sponsored the fall blood drive on Dec. 1 during the school day, which was open to seniors and teachers.
Seniors and teachers who met the blood donor requirements, which include being over 110 pounds, having no tattoos outside of the state of Missouri, not being anemic, and brought an ID were given the opportunity to give blood in the school’s Multipurpose Room.
“It’s a good cause,” said NHS president Juanita Bell. “You’re giving blood to people who need it, like people who were in accidents or need a blood transfusion.”
Blood taken was given to St. John’s Mercy hospital to be used for blood transfusions and other hospital needs. Cancer, transplant and trauma patients, and patients undergoing open-heart surgery may require platelet transfusions to survive. Anemic patients also need for transfusions to increase their blood levels. NHS’s goal for this year’s blood drive was to donate 100 pints of blood.
The NHS members set up the Multipurpose room in order to take in an expected 100 to 120 blood donors. In past years, students and teachers have donated on average 80-105 pints of blood, depending on the time of year. During the summer and winter, there is a drop in blood donations, which means shortages for hospitals and patients.
According to the American Red Cross, only three out of 100 Americans donate blood. Every two seconds, someone in America needs blood. We’re giving people a great opportunity,” said Bell, “especially people who wouldn’t know how or where to give blood.”
NHS has organized a system of six beds, where nurses from St. John’s take blood six people at a time. “We have a lot of NHS members organizing the blood drive,” said Bell. “We have runners who go around to pick up healthy seniors who signed up to give blood.” From the time a person is seated, it takes only ten minutes to take one pint of blood.
Giving blood is a safe process. Every needle is used only once, and then discarded.
“It’s a small needle, and they only take a pint of blood,” said Bell. “You’ll get juice and cookies afterwards.” In addition, donors were given a complimentary t-shirt.